Spongia officinalis (Linnaeus, 1759) is a sponge Spongiidae family. It is the species from which were obtained the bath sponges. It is a protected species, it fishing is prohibited. Spongia officinalis è una spugna della famiglia Spongiidae
Form extensive colonies of varying sizes (up to 35 cm in diameter), irregularly lobed, elastic and soft texture, with the surface covered with small conuli and oscula slightly raised. The external coloring is usually black, but can also be grayish or whitish in relation to the lighting conditions. The interior instead yellow-reddish color. The skeleton of this sponge is made up almost entirely of fibers spongin, making it extremely soft. Spongia officinalis è una spugna della famiglia Spongiidae
Distribution and habitat
It is widespread in the Mediterranean Sea, on rocky substrates, from the surface up to 40 m deep. Reported occasionally in the eastern Atlantic.
A very common time in the Mediterranean has been considerably thinner because of the intense commercial exploitation and the various epidemics that decimated the natural populations of sponges. Currently Spongia officinalis is a protected species (listed in Annex III of the Bern Convention and annex III ASPIM of the Barcelona Convention), and it fishing is prohibited.